Tiramisu Layer Cake

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My favorite cake of all time.  It couples my favorite dessert Tiramisu with a moist cake!  I have now taken this as my "signature cake" because I loved it that much and got race reviews on it!  It takes a little more time and work than some recipes I post, but SO WORTH IT!


Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  All recipes

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                     Cook time:  20-25 minutes

Ingredients:
Cake:
      -  1 (18.25 oz) package of moist white or yellow cake mix
      -  1 tsp. instant coffee powder
      -  3/4 cup (medium to strong) coffee
      -  2 Tbl. Kaluha (coffee flavored liqueur)
Filling:
      -  1 (8 oz) container mascarpone cheese
      -  1/2 c. powder sugar
      -  3 Tbl. Kaluha (coffee flavored liqueur)
Frosting:
      -  2 c. heavy cream
      -  1/4 c. powdered sugar
      -  3 Tbl. Kaluha (coffee flavored liqueur)
Garnish:
      -  2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
      -  semisweet chocolate bar, shaved

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 3 (9 in) pie pans.
2)  Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.  Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans.  Stir instant coffee into remaining batter, pour into remaining pan.
3)  Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack or wax paper and cool completely.  In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and liqueur; set aside.
4)  To make the filling:  In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on a low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 c. powdered sugar, and liqueur; beat until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refirgerate.
5)  To make frosting:  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 c. sugar and liqueur until stiff.  Fold 1/2 c. of frosting mix into filling.
6)  To assemble the cake:  Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate.  Poke holes in the cake, about 1 inch apart.  Pour 1/3 of the reserved coffee micture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture.  Top with coffee-flavored cake layer, poke hole into cake and pour another 1/3 of coffee mixture over this second layer.  Spread with remaining filling.  Top with last cake layer, poke holes in cake and pour remaining coffee mixture on top.  Spread sides and top of cake with frosting.  Place cocoa in sieve and lightly dust top of cake.  Garnish with chocolate curls.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  to make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run down the edge of the chocolate bar.

Paul Newman Cake

This cake is absolutely heavenly.  Only fix it when you are having company, or you will end up eating the WHOLE thing yourself.  Enjoy!


Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

Ingredients:
     -  1 German chocolate Cake Mix
     -  1 can Eagle Condensed milk (sweet milk)
     -  1 jar caramel topping
     -  1 large container of Cool Whip
     -  2-3 Heath bars, crushed

Directions:
1)  Bake cake as instructed on the box.  After cooking, poke holes on top of cake while still warm.  Pour sweet milk over cake.  Pour most of jar of caramel topping over cake.  Refrigerate until cool.
2)  Top with cool whip and crumble candy bars over top.  Drizzle more caramel over cake.  Refrigerate until served.

Seven Layer Gratin

A delicious, healthy comfort food casserole great for summer nights.  Makes a lot, but it is great for a large family dinner or company.  One of my favorite go-to dishes.


Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  Family Circle

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                                  Cook time:  50 minutes

Ingredients:
     -  3 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4 in. diagonal slices
     -  1 yellow squash, cut in 1/4 " diagonal slices
     -  1/4 c. plus 2 Tbl. dried bread crumbs
     -  1/2 tsp. dried sage
     -  1 Tbl flour
     -  1 1/4 tsp. salt
     -  1/2 tsp. black pepper
     -  1 can (8.5 oz) artichoke hearts, drained
     -  1 scallion, minced
     -  1 1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese (or your favorite)
     -  3/4 c. light cream
     -  1 lb. ground turkey
     -  2 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1)  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix zucchini, yellow squash, 1/4 c. of the crumbs, sage, flour, 1 tsp. of the salt and black pepper.  In a blender, puree artichoke hearts, scallion, 1/2 c. of the Swiss cheese, 1/4 c. of the cream, remaining salt and a pinch of black pepper.
2)  Spread one-third of the squash mixture over bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish.  Spread half of the artichoke puree over the squash.  Top with half of the turkey.  Repeat layering; top with the remaining squash mixture.
3)  Toss together the remaining Swiss cheese and bread crumbs and Parmesan.  Sprinkle evenly over the gratin.  Drizzle with the remaining cream.
4)  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until squash is tender and top is golden.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Cinnamony Carrot Cake

A decadent and easy carrot cake!  Take it a step further and add dried fruit and nuts to kick it up a notch further!  So yummy.


Submitted by:  Amber Morgan

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                             Cook time:  35-40 minutes

Ingredients:
Cake:
     -  1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
     -  1 1/4 c. water
     -  1/2 c (1 stick) butter melted, cooled
     -  3 eggs
     -  2 c. shredded carrots
     -  2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Frosting:
     -  4 c. powdered sugar
     -  1/2 c. (1 stick) butter softened
     -  1/3 c. sour cream
     -  3/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
1)  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all cake ingredients except the carrots and cinnamon, in a large bowl.  Beat as directed on the cake mix package.  Then, stir in the carrots and cinnamon.
2)  Pour batter into greased 13"x9" baking pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.
3)  Combine all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat at a medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.  Spread cooled cake with frosting.

Summer Cooking

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So time for some delicious updates to the cooking blog, stock piled with some new great summer dishes and some recent Memorial day experiments.  Check out these newly posted recipes (some photos will be updated over the next couple of days):

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Chicken and Ravioli Carbanara
Seven Layer Gratin
Yogurt Chicken
Samosas
Paul Newman Cake
Shrimp Scampi
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Pizza Dip
Chicken Hash
Cinnamony Carrot Cake
Broccoli and Dressing Casserole

Pizza Dip

A great warm dip that is colorful, festive and oh so easy!  Plus, these ingredients and the final taste appeal to everyone.

Taken from:  Family Circle 12/09

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                           Cook time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:
      -  8 oz of cream cheese, softened
      -  3/4 c. light mayonnaise
      -  1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
      -  8 oz. sliced pepperoni, chopped
      -  2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
      -  10 large, pitted black olives (can drained) and chopped
      -  4 crusty Italian rolls, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, mozzarella, pepperoni, tomatoes and olives.  Spoon into a 6 cup baking dish.
2)  Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.  Allow to cool slightly and serve with bread pieces for dipping.

Southern Pulled BBQ Pork

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This is not your red sauce BBQ!  This is a traditional, vinegar based Carolina barbecue.  This is not about tasting the sauce, it is about tasting the meat!  If you have never tried this type of barbecue - you must.  I promise you (despite my bias) that there is NOTHING like Carolina BBQ!  As a self-confessed meat-a-terian -- I can tell you this is amazing!  It makes a lot and is great to bring to parties and cookouts.  Don't worry about extras - it reheats great!  Slather on a bun or just plate with cole slaw and hush puppies and you are transported to a beautiful summer day in the Carolina sun.


Submitted by:  Tia Bach

Cook time:  8 hours in a slow cooker


Ingredients:
     -  1, 5-6 lb. pork shoulder or pork roast (sometimes you can find this called a Picnic roast)
     -  1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce:
     -  1/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
     -  1/4 c. ketchup
     -  1 Tbl. hot sauce
     -  1 tsp. liquid smoke (hickory)
     -  1/2 tsp. salt and pepper
     -  1/2 tsp. onion powder
     -  1/2 tsp. Worchestershire
     -  Hot pepper flakes, to taste
     -  1/4-1/2 c.  apple cider vinegar (only add if you prefer a more vinegary taste - taste mix first)

Directions:
1)  Put pork and 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar  in greased slow cooker.  Cook all day (8 hours).  Toward end, shred pork.
2)  After shredding, mix sauce ingredients (except additional apple cider vinegar).  Cover and mix in with pork in slow cooker.  Taste and add additional vinegar accordingly.

Tortilla Casserole

The original recipe I found for this called for artichokes and mushrooms and frankly just didn't work.  I tweaked this recipe with some more traditional Mexican cuisine elements.  After the alterations it was delicious.  However, for those interested in the original recipe, I posted the original ingredients below this recipe -- it might be your cup of tea.  The directions are the same.  When I made my version, it was delicious!  It made a lot, but reheated wonderfully!  A true treat.


Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                             Cook time:  40-50 minutes

Ingredients:
      -  8 corn tortillas (if use flour, you do not need to soak)
      -  1 cup of chicken broth
      -  Olive oil
      -  1 c. chopped onion
      -  1 c. chopped red or green pepper
      -  1 1/2 Tbl. minced garlic
      -  1 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef
      -  1 can tomato soup or 1 (5.5 oz) V8 juice can
      -  1 c. low fat sour cream
      -  1 (16 oz) can of Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
      -  Taco seasoning
      -  1 (15 oz) can of corn
      -  1 (10 oz) can of Rotel tomatoes (with green chiles)
      -  3 Tbl fine flour (recommended:  Wondra flour)
      -  1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
      - 2 c. Tortilla chipped, crushed
      -  Optional:  1 can of sliced black olives, drained
      -  Serve with salsa and sour cream

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tortillas in a pie plate with broth.  Turn once in awhile to ensure all tortillas are soaked.  Set aside.
2)  Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.  Saute onions, peppers and garlic for 5 minutes, until slightly brown and onions translucent. 
3)  In a separate skillet cook meat until cooked through, about 7-9 minutes.  When done add onion mix to meat.
4)  Add pinto beans, Rotel tomatoes, sour cream, taco seasoning, tomato soup, corn (and olives).  Mix well and bring to a boil; reduce heat and continue simmering for 5 minutes.  Add flour during heating to thicken sauce.
5)  Place 4 soaked tortillas in the bottom of a large, lightly greased casserole dish.  Tear tortillas to completely cover bottom.  Layer half of mixture and half of cheese.  Repeat layers.
6)  Top with crushed tortilla chips.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.


Now for the adventurous taster - the original ingredients:
Ingredients:
     -  8 corn tortillas
     -  1 1/4 c. chicken broth
     -  2 Tbl olive oil
     -  1 c. chopped onions
     -  1 c. chopped green pepper
     -  1 1/2 Tbl minced garlic
     -  1 (8 oz) package fresh sliced mushrooms
     -  1 lb ground turkey
     -  2 c. plain yogurt
     -  1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
     -  3 Tbl. fine flour
     -  2 Tbl. chili seasoning
     -  1 (15 oz) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
     -  1 1/2 c. organic shredded jack cheese

Let me know what you think of this one - mushrooms and artichokes don't scream Mexican to me!)

Salisbury Steak

This Salisbury steak recipe is so easy and so delicious.  A great comfort food!  It includes a sweetened take on a Belmont Sauce (with the more wine-flavored original recipe included) - both are heavenly and are just specific to your tastes.  Great thing about this is that if food is a way to a man's heart - this will definitely win that of the man in your life!  


Submitted by:  Karen Newbrough


Cook time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
Steak patties:
     -  3 lb. ground chuck
     -  2 Tbl. chopped green pepper (optional)
     -  1/4 c. finely chopped onion
     -  2 Tbl. chopped parsley
     -  1 tsp. salt
     -  1 tsp. tabasco sauce
     -  flour

Belmont Sauce:
     -  3 Tbl Olio, or butter
     -  1/2 c. ketchup
     -  1 tsp Worchestire
     -  1 tsp. prepared mustard
     -  1/4 tsp. tabasco
     -  2 Tbl. light brown sugar (to your taste specifications) 
(If you prefer a more wine flavor vs. sweet, substitute the brown sugar for 1 Tbl. lemon juice and 2 Tbl. cooking sherry and voila! )

Directions:
1)  Combine meat, green pepper, onion, parsley, salt and tabasco sauce.  Shape meat mix into 8 oval shaped patties (think mini-meatloafs, at least 1/2 inch thick).  Sprinkle lightly with flour.
2)  Heat skillet lightly coated with cooking oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add patties and brown on all sides, cooking through.  Watch carefully and flip a few times to keep cooking even and to keep patties from burning.
3)  Mix Belmont sauce in small saucepan over low-medium heat.  Whisk ingredients together and continue stirring over the heat.  Serve warm over the patties.

Homemade Fried Rice

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This rice is so good that we made extra to enjoy the next day!  It is also healthy due to the homemade part - just some extra-virgin olive oil, long grain brown rice and lots of vegetables...oh yeah and if interested, tofu!  (don't let that scare you away, though - optional)


Submitted by: Paula Penman
(check out her blog "The Extraordinary Mother")


Ingredients:
     -  Uncooked long-grained brown rice
     -  2-3 eggs
     -  Soy Sauce
     -  Extra-virgin olive oil
     -  Favorite frozen vegeatables (or bag of mixed vegeatables:  carrots, corn, peas, etc)
     -  Ground ginger and black pepper to taste
     -  Firm tofu, cut into large pieces (optional)

Directions:
1)  Cook rice according to package directions and then refrigerate.  (Amount depends on family size.  Remember, rice cooks up and always makes more than you think)
2)  Scramble eggs on 1 tsp. of olive oil.  Remove from pan and cut up egg into smaller pieces.
3)  Add more olive oil to coat same pan.  Add chilled rice and stir to coat with olive oil.  Keep heat low so that rice does not burn.  Sprinkle liberally with pepper and ginger for great flavor!  Stir rice to mix.
4)  Add vegetables and allow to cook until warm (5-10 minutes - longer if fresh vegetables).  Add tofu and egg.  Stir and mix well.  Voila - done!

Rigatoni and Ragu

Okay, I cannot resist - this is so good and so hearty - esp. great before the weather gets too warm.  This is not the jar stuff!


Submitted by:  Paula Penman
 (Check out her blog "The Extraordinary Mother" )

Cook time:  30 min

Ingredients:
     -  Extra-virgin olive oil
     -  3 cloves garlic, minced
     -  Pasta - rigatoni (or rotini)
     -  1 large onion, chopped
     -  1/3 lb. ground beef
     -  1/3 lb. sweet Italian sausage (or hot sausage); casing removed
     -  1 green pepper, cored and chopped
     -  1 pkg mushrooms (optional)
     -  1/2 c. red wine
     -  1 can crushed tomatoes
     -  1 stalk celery, chopped
     -  1/2 c. frozen peas
     -  Optional seasonings to taste:  oregano, basil, pepper, nutmeg

Directions:

1)  Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2)  Heat oil in frying pan.  Add sausage and beef once hot.  Add oregano, basil and pepper; chop and stir until browned.
3)  In another pan, heat oil and add onion and garlic (garlic on top so it does not burn).  Cook until onion is translucent.
4)  Add carrots and mushrooms to onion mix and saute.  Add red wine and cook until absorbed.
5)  Add crushed tomatoes and meat mixtures.  Add oregano, bail and pepper.  Finish with a couple of sprinkles of nutmeg; mix.
6)  Allow to simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables soften.  Add peas and cook until thawed.
7)  Serve over pasta and add Parmesan cheese if desired.

Back From Hiatus

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sorry that I have been on hiatus for awhile.  The past 6 weeks in my household have been crazy, with lots of company and back-to-back trips (see http://dknewbrough.blogspot.com for our latest adventures).  Needless to say, I am exhausted and so glad to be getting back to a normal way of life.  That included getting back into cooking more for my family and trying some delicious new recipes.

Keep sending yours - don't forget that they can be your creations, favorites passed down or tried-and-true favorites your found.  We love them all!!

By the way, lots of delicious recipes coming this week.  Here is my families menu this week (some of these are already posted and continue to check as I post the others this week).  All are delicious, easy and sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.  And, as you try them, comment back with honest critiques and alterations that you tried.  I always love to get new ideas and help in the kitchen any way I can!

This Week:
Honey Nut Chicken and Barbecue Succotash
Herb Roasted Red Potatoes
-  Spinach Rice Bake Casserole
-  Tortilla Casserole
Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"
-  Asian Grilled Salmon
Chicken and Broccoli Mac-and-Cheese


COMING THIS SUMMER!!
More giveaways
More interviews
Dozens of new recipes
Spotlight on Great Summer recipes and pot-luck hints!
Cooking hints that will make life easier and tastier!
Spotlight on Desserts

Chicken and Broccoli Mac-and-Cheese

A heartier version of your favorite Mac-and-cheese - makes a full meal.  A great family meal or pot luck!  So many alterations are available - so take the basics and make it your own.  Just be aware - this makes a lot, so consider halving the recipe for an intimate family meal.


Cook time:  30-40 min

Ingredients:
     -  2 Tbl. oil, to coat pan
     -  1 lb. chicken breast tenders, chopped
     -  Salt and pepper, to taste
     -  1 small onion, chopped
     -  1 lb. macaroni elbows or corkscrew pasta
     -  2 1/2 c. broccoli florets
     -  3 Tbl. butter
     -  3 Tbl all-purpose flour
     -  1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
     -  1 tsp. paprika
     -  2 c. milk
     -  1 can cream of mushroom soup
     -  3-4 c. sharp cheddar (or favorite cheese)
     -  1 Tbl prepared Dijon mustard


Directions:
1)  Place pot of water on to boil for macaroni
2)  Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat with oil.  Once hot, add chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Saute a couple of minutes, then add onion and cook another 5-7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through.  Turn off heat and reserve.
3)  Add pasta to boiling water and salt (hint:  add about 1 Tbl. of olive oil to keep pasta from sticking).  Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 more minutes, or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender.
4)  While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika.  Whish together over heat until roux bubbles - then cook a minute more.  Whisk in milk and soup.  Raise heat a little bit to bring sauce to a quick boil.  Simmer sauce to thicken about 5 minutes.
5)  Drain macaroni and broccoli.  Add back to pot and add chicken pasta/veg. 
6)  Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, about a minute or so.  Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper.
7)  Pour sauce over chicken/pasta mix; stir to combine.  Adjust seasonings, transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

A healthy and delicious alternative to mashed potatoes.  It will become a new family go-to, with less guilt and just as much flavor.  Also, a great way to fool kids and adults into eating their veggies.  In fact, my daughter NAILED THEM - so I even included a picture as proof.


When I made them they were chunkier than mashed potatoes, but I just used a hand mixture.  If you like them smoothier, without cauliflower pieces (more mashed potato-like) then I suggest using a blender or food processor).  I don't know if they will replace mashed potatoes, but they were truly delicious and will be a regular item here.


Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough


Cook time:  20-30 min


Ingredients:
     -  1 medium head of cauliflower
     -  1 Tbl. softened cream cheese
     -  1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
     -  1/2 tsp. minced garlic
     -  1/8 tsp. straight chicken base or bullion
     -  1/8 tsp. pepper
     -  1/2 tsp. chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish
     -  3 Tbl butter
     -  Salt, to taste

Directions:
1)  Set of large pot of water to boil over high heat.
2)  Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.  Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done.  Drain well; do not let cool.  Pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
3)  In a bowl with an blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base and pepper until almost smooth.
4)  Garnish with chives and serve with hot pats of butter

Easy-Peezy Herb Roasted Potatoes

Can't mess this up and you can alter the seasonings to your liking.  No brainer hear, but my favorite summer-time side to a great piece of steak and corn on the cob, straight off the grill.  Pair with a watermelon slice and "I'm in heaven!"


Preheat oven to:  375 degrees                       Cook time:  30-40 min

Ingredients:
     -  2 lbs. new red potatoes, quartered
     -  1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
     -  Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
     -  Salt and pepper to taste (can also add red pepper flakes for a kick!)

Directions:
1)  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Toss together the potatoes, oil and seasonings. 
2)  Dump the potatoes onto a baking sheet and roast until tender and crisp on the edges, about 30-40 minutes.

Barbecued Succotash

The perfect compliment to any dish - my favorite is with fried/coated chicken or shredded barbeque pork sandwiches.  YUM!  A great summer cook-out treat, as well!


Taken from:  Rachel Ray 30 min. meals

Cook time:  10 minutes               Prep time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
     -  1 Tbl. olive or vegetable oil, turn to coat pan
     -  1/2 red onion, diced
     -  1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
     -  1 (14 oz) can black beans
     -  1 (10 oz) box frozen corn
     -  Salt and pepper, to taste
     -  1/4 cup smoky or hickory barbecue sauce
     -  2 Tbl. parsley (or chopped chives or cilantro leaves)

Directions:
1)  Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and peppers and saute 5 minutes.
2)  Add beans and corn and season with salt and pepper.  When corn heats through, add barbecue sauce.
3)  Add parsley and stir to combine. 

Honey Nut Chicken

My favorite crunchy, chicken coating - hint of sweetness, but not too much.  My 16 month old and husband both loved it!


Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                             Cook time:  15-20 min

Ingredients:
     -  4 oz (~ 2/3 cup) honey roasted peanuts
     -  1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
     -  1 Tbl. Montreal Seasoning by McCormick (or similar grill seasoning)
     -  2 eggs
     -  A splash half-and-half or whole milk
     -  2 tsp. hot sauce
     -  1/2 c. all-purpose flour
     -  2-3 Tbl vegetable oil
     -  4-6 thin chicken breasts

     -  2-3 Tbl. honey (for sprinkling)

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put nuts, bread crumbs and grill seasoning in food processor.  Grind to combine these ingredients until fine crumble crust.  Pour nutty-breading onto a plate.
2)  Beat eggs and half-and-half or milk with hot sauce in a shallow dish.
3)  Pour flour onto another plate for dipping.
4)  Dust both sides of the chicken with flour.  Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then coat with nutty mixture.
5)  Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add vegetable oil to coast the bottom of the pan with a thin layer.  Brown chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side in the hot oil or until evenly light golden in color.
6)  Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in oven until juices run clear and breasts are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

** Serve with Barbecued Succotash (as pictured)

Baked Meatballs

I love big homemade meatballs in my spaghetti - add garlic bread and my favorite Vodka spaghetti sauce and BAM! what a quick, easy meal!


Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                      Cook time:  25-30 min

Ingredients:
     -  1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
     -  1 egg
     -  2 Tbl. milk
     -  1/2 c. bread crumbs (or my favorite - finely ground Ritz crackers - about 1 roll)
     -  1 envelope onion soup mix (alternate option:  1/4 c. minced onion)
     -  Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together, roll into balls.
2)  Place onto baking sheet and bake for 1/2 hour.

First Cookbook Give-away

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I am SO excited to announce the first of many GIVEAWAYS!  For our first giveaway, I am showcasing the cookbook "Kitchen Playdates" by Lauren Bank Deen.  I love this cookbook!  It has great and easy ideas for entertaining that include kids - including lots of great, unique recipes AND menus, activities and kid playdate ideas.  It is the perfect recipe book for families with kids - making the kitchen even more fun for everyone!

To enter to win this free cookbook, you must do the following:
1)  Follow the blog by clicking the "Follow" button to the left hand side of this page (unless you are already a follower)

2)  Fill in the information in the Giveaway box at the end of this post (write your full name and email)

YOU MUST DO BOTH 1 & 2 TO ENTER!!

Special note:  For all my giveaways, those individuals that send a recipe for me to post as well, get their name entered twice! 

Mama's Recipe Swap's Cookbook Giveaway will be open until Sunday, April 25th when a winner will be announced!  And stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!


Lastly, don't forget to keep sending your yummy recipes.  I am also looking for 2 new cooking blogs to highlight and link to - if you would like to be spotlighted on this website email me with a link to your blog.  New recipe blogs will be highlighted monthly!


Meals and Memories - Interview with a fellow Mama

I recently got the opportunity to interview a fellow blogger named Tree (aka Mother of Pearl) and here about her cooking adventures, who runs the kitchen in her household and what she TRULY thinks of cooking.



Tree brings a different outlook about her time in the kitchen - but one I think many of us share.  :)

Thank you Tree (aka Mother of Pearl) for being interviewed.

Check out Tree's blogs at:  http://www.motherofpearlitis.com/ and http://www.mommiesfaves.com/



And don't forget to try her 2 favorite recipes:  The Ultimate Lady's Cheesy Mac and Cheese and Spritz Cookies.

1)  You mentioned that your husband is the primary cook in your household - do you share cooking time or ever cook meals together?
     Yes, my hubby went to Culinary school about 23 years ago when we first met, and its a good thing, because I honestly DO NOT like to cook! LOL  I do it out of necessity when I have to (like now...my hubby just had his 2nd foot surgery, so I am the cook at this time).  I do love to bake, however.  We always cook together on holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc), but not on a routine basis for regulat meals.  He does most of the cooking.  I have no patience in the kitchen with my kids (ashamed LOL), but he does and has taught all of our kids to cook.

2)  What is your favorite memory in the kitchen as an adult or child?
     It would definitely have to be when my brother and I were small, and we would help our mom bake cookies, fudge, pices, etc. for Christmas.  I loved being in the kitchen with her at that time of year.

 
3)  What food(s) bring back the most/best memories for you?
     Probably my mom's tuna noodle casserole.  So warm and yummy!  And sadly, I've only made it once or twice since "leaving the nest" 26 years ago.  My birthday cakes were also homemade most of the time...I once had a guitar cake when I was taking lessons, and a telephone cake (because I loved to be on the phone as a teen... now I hate talking on the phone.  LOL)
4)  What is your favorite type of food or your standard comfort food dish?
     Oh wow...my "downfall" is definitely cheese and bread.  I can't get enough of either one...all kinds, too!  Nothing better than tons of gooey cheese....esp. plopped on top of or dipped with some of my favorite breads.
5)  Where do you guys get most of your recipes?
     I do have some recipes that were passed down through the family (mine and hubby's).  However, although I don't really care to cook, I am a "recipe junkie."  I LOVE to watch cooking shows and search for recipes online.  My favorites are Paula Deen, Rachel Ray, and Emeril Lagasse.
6)  Do you have a memorable kitchen disaster?
     Besides the common "burnt dish" every now and then, I can't think of one that I've had personally.  Although, we still laugh about the time that the hubby decided to use kerosene and burned all of the hair (eyebrows, mustache, etc) off of his face!  LOL  Wasn't too funny for him back then, but we can definitely laugh about it now.  (NOTE:  No cooks were injured on this day...only the ego was).  :)
7)  If you could improve any of your kitchen skills, what would you tackle first?
     Hmmm...probably that I had more patience to teach my children and grandchildren how to cook.  I really am a very good cook...just don't like it.  I want to get in there, and get it over with quickly! :)
8)  What is one tip you have learned from cooking?
     I would say, for the both of us, not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen.  Some of the best, most delicious recipes were invented by "mistake."  I wanted to write a cookbook using my hubby's recipes at one time, but he is a "make it up as you go," "never measure" type of guy, and we could never pinpoint exactly how much of anything should go in the recipes.  LOL  So, I gave up the idea.

9)  As a fellow blogger, what blogs do you follow the most and what do you love about blogging?
     I really just began "seriously" blogging a couple of months ago.  I have found MANY new and exciting blogs to follow (including Mama's Recipe Swap) and try to keep up with and comment when I can.  Here are some of my favorites...

http://thetamom.com/

http://thisfullhouse.com/

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen

10)  What are your favorite recipes?
     Paula Deen's "The Ultimate Lady's Cheesy Mac and Cheese" and my mom's "Spritz Cookies"

Spritz Cookies

This is my Mom's Spritz Cookie recipe.  She still makes these every Christmas and sends a box off to us.  She uses the exact same spritz cookie press from when I was a child.  :)

Submitted by:  Tree

Preheat oven to:  400 degrees                               Cooking time:  7-10 min.

Ingredients:
     -  1 cup butter
     -  3 egg yolks
     -  2 1/2 cups flour
     -  2/3 cups sugar
     -  1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
     -  Favorite sprinkles or food coloring

Directions:
1)  Combine the butter, sugar, egg yolks, and extract in a large bowl.
2)  Add the flour and mix by hand.  Spoon into the cookie press and press onto cookie sheets.
3)  Sprinkle cookies with colored sugars (or use red and green food coloring on smaller batches of the dough).  Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 min.

The Ultimate Lady's Cheesy Mac and Cheese

I don't always use all of the various cheese, but it still coms out so gooey and good  - one of my family's favorites!

Submitted by:  Tree
Created by:  Paula Deen

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                               Cook time:  30-45 min

Ingredients:
     -  2 cups dried elbow macaroni (4 cups cooked)
     -  1/3 cup grated Cheddar
     -  1/3 cup grated Swiss
     -  1/3 cup grated Jack
     -  1/3 cup grated Colby
     -  1/3 cup grated Muenster
     -  1/3 cup grated Gouda
     -  1/2 cup Sour Cream
     -  4 Tbl. butter, cut into pieces
     -  6 eggs
     -  1/2 tsp. salt
     -  1/2 tsp. pepper
     -  1 cup milk
     -  Nonstick spray

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven.  In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Season water with salt and cook macaroni until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and place in a large bowl and while pasta is still hot add all the cheeses.
2)  In a separate medium bowl, using a whisk, combine the sour cream, butter, eggs, salt, pepper and milk and add to the macaroni mixture.
3)  Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray and pour macaroni mixture into the dish.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Top with additional cheese, if desired.

Spring Smores Bars

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yummy, colorful and kid and adult friendly! 

Submiited by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  Kroger recipe collection

Ingredients:
      -  1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
      -  1 3/4 c. (11.5 oz pkg) milk chocolate chips morsels
      -  3 1/2 c. minature colored marshmallows
      -  7 1/2 oz. chocolate-covered graham crackers, broken into bite-size pieces

Directions:
1)  Line 9 in. square baking pan with heavy-duty foil
2)  Heat cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 1-2 min. or until bubbles appear around edges.  Remove from heat.
3)  Add morsels; stir until smooth.  Cool, stirring occassionally, for 10-12 minutes.
4)  Add marshmallows; stir to coat.  Gently stir in graham crackers pieces until combined.
5)  Spread mixture into prepared pan; press down lightly.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.  Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Makes 16 bars.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know that many of us cheat with these and buy the box mixes. But these are SO easy, probably include all the ingredients already in your cabinet and are SO MUCH better. Melt in your mouth delicious. I like to make the big jumbo muffins and then just the extra batter to make the mini-muffins to freeze for my little 1 year old. We all end up with chocolate all over our face after eating these, but SO worth it!


Taken from: Mr Breakfast.com Collection


Preheat oven to: 400 degrees                                                  Cook time: 15-20 min

Ingredients:
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/3 c. light-brown sugar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1/2 c. butter - melted and cooled
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 package (12 oz) chocolate chips
- Optional: 1/2 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease your muffin cups. Keep in mind that cooking times might vary depending on size of muffin cups.
2) In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
3) In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add the milk mixture and stir to just combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
4) Spoon batter into muffin cups; bake 15-20 min or until knife inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean. Remove muffin tin to wire rack; cool 5 min and remove from tins to finish cooling.

Alteration:
- For a dessert twist - add cranberries and white chocolate chips
- Add your favorite fruit - blueberries or cut up raspberries, etc.

Creamed Spinach and Ham Broilers

Friday, April 2, 2010

My new favorite open-faced sandwich.  To those haters that do not think it sounds good -- please try it!  It is scrumptious! :)

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Found in:  Rachael Ray Magazine  http://www.rachaelraymag.com/

Cooking time/Prep:  45 min total

Ingredients:
     -  1 (9 oz) bag spinach
     -  6 Tbl. butter
     -  4, 3/4 in. thick slices of bread (french or country loaf)
     -  1/4 c. finely chopped onion
     -  Salt and pepper to taste
     -  3 Tbl flour
     -  2 1/4 c. milk
     -  1/4 lb. thinly sliced smoked ham (preferably Black Forest)
     -  2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
     -  3/4 c. gruyere cheese (though I use Munster or Provolone - gruyere might be better, but much more expensive)

Directions:
1)  Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  In a large saucepan, cook the spinach and 2 Tbl. water over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes; drain and transfer to a small bowl.  Let the spinach cool, then squeeze out excess water; finely chop.
2)  In the reserved saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Brush the bread slices on both sides with half of the melted butter and arrange on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.  Toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes
3)  Meanwhile, add the onion to the butter in the saucepan and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occassionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the flour and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occassionally, until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce.  Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the pot and season with salt and pepper.
4)  Preheat the broiler.  Divide the creamed spinach among the toasts and top with ham and tomato slices; season with salt.  Top with the reserved white sauce and cheese.  Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Easy Homemade Doughtnuts

Okay, this was a childhood favorite and an easy way to score high points with your kids.  It is far from brain-science people - it is just good!!

Serve as breakfast or an after-school snacks.  Kids and adults alike will be clammering for them.  Who needs Dunkin' Doughnuts -- okay yes, that went too far.  I am obsessed with Dunkin'!  ;)

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall and Dana Newbrough

Ingredients:
     -  2-3 cans of refrigerated biscuits (your favorite)
     -  2 large gallon zip-lock bags (with GOOD seal)
     -  cooking oil
     -  cinnamon, sugar and powdered sugar

Directions:
1)  Heat oil  in large skillet for deep frying (or use deep fryer).  Place individual biscuits in oil, once hot.
2)  Quickly brown biscuits on both side.  Remove to paper-towel lined plate to drain grease.  Once doughnuts are done fill one large bag with mixture of cinnamon and sugar (to your liking) and fill the other bag with powdered sugar.
3)  Put warm doughnuts in either bag and shake until covered.  Lay out on plate and enjoy!!

Apple Pork Chops

To be honest, when I first read this recipe I thought -- NO WAY!  But, because I was over budget that week for groceries and happened to have these ingredients, I thought what the heck - I'll try it.  It was surprisingly good and oh so simple.  Many thanks to the creator!

Created by:  Cassi Pope
Found in:  Recipes from Home cookbook, created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                     Cook time:  45 min

Ingredients:
     -  6 Pork Chops
     -  1 box of your favorite stuffing (I love cornbread!)
     -  1 can of apple pie filling

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven.  Grease the bottom of a 9"x 13" baking pan.
2)  Brown pork chops in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Prepare stuffing according to directions on box.
3)  In bottom of greased pie pan, put pie filling.  Place pork chops evenly over pie filling; top everything with prepared stuffing.
4)  Cover and cook for 35 minutes.  Uncover and cook 10 minutes more.

Cooking for a Cause

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One of the things that has inspired me the most since starting this blog, is how many different reasons people get in the kitchen.  For some it is the personal joy of learning the art of cooking, for some it is enjoying those family moments over dinner, for some a way to save money or even to eat healthier, and for others it is about serving a cause - providing meals to the sick and injured, or those less fortunate than ourselves.

Recently, I was inspired by a lady named Nancy Clark, who is using cooking to serve another purpose - raising money for Horizon International (http://www.horizoninternationalinc.com/ ).  Horizon International is a non-profit Christian organization that helps orphans affected by HIV/AIDS.  The first time I heard her speak about her mission trip to work with this organization, I was just in awe.  So, I immediately asked her to be interviewed for this blog. 


I hope you enjoy and if you feel moved, as I have - please donate to the cause (information within the interview)

1)  Tell us a little about Horizon International and your upcoming trip.
     On March 2008, the Kyasa Kids, an African orphan choir sponsored by the Horizon International, danced and sang at our Northview Church.  By Jan. 2009, my husband Win and I became field representatives for this mission organization that works through partnerships in some of the hardest HIV/AIDs-hit areas in southern Africa (http://www.horizoninternationalinc.com/ ).   God impressed on us to use these years of our lives to "defend the fatherless and care for the afflicted."  So we did and it is an exciting journey. 
    

2)  I was inspired by your decision to raise money for the trip, by cooking some of your favorite family recipes.  Tell us what you are baking and how people can donate.
     As I have prayed for the women of Zimbabwe, I realized how they would love to bake but they are experiencing a famine in their country presently.  I thought that I could bake to raise awareness of their plight - all the money will go directly to these incredible women to give their children bread when I travel to Zimbabwe.
     I have a suggestion donation of $8.00 for my Rhubarb Bread and $10 a dozen for potato rolls.  If a check is designated to Horizon International, you receive a receipt for tax deducation.  Just call Nancy Clark at 1-513-258-1176 or 1-317-564-4488 to order!
     If you are not local to the area (Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Indianapolis, etc. in Indiana) please still feel free to donate directly to Horizon International (http://www.horizoninternationalinc.com/giving.asp ).



3)  Where did you learn to bake these items?
     In the 1980s, our family with 3 young children lived in a huge parsonage in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as Win was the pastor of a church 2 blocks away.  Many University students attended our church so we invited them to lunch often on Sunday after church.  I made dozens of Potato Rolls with dinner and Rhubarb bread for dessert - they loved them! 
4)  Where did you learn to first cook or were inspired to cook?
     Soon after we were married in 1970, my husband attened Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and I taught high school nearby our New England town.  Jeanette Scholer, a professor at the Seminary, offered to teach the seminary wives how to bake bread on 3 Saturdays and I was desperate for ideas to become a 'home maker.'  Her inspiring and practical lessons changed my life; I baked our bread and goodies from then on.  That inspired me to read every cook book that proclaimed inexpensive/nutritious meals because we lived on a parson's salary.
5)  What is your favorite comfort food?
     Absolutely - Vegetable Soup -- yum!!

6)  What are your favorite memories associated with cooking?
     Seeing mashed potatoes in the mixer and Mom giving me the beater to lick, smelling a pot roast simmering, sitting around our kitchen table and eating together with my Mom, Dad and sisters.

7)  Do you have a memorable kitchen disaster?
     Oh yes...one lunch at the parsonage I made a thick tomato soup and left it on very low heat during church only to discover that without stirring the soup it burned on the bottom and the smell permeated the parsonage!  But one student explained, when he saw my dismay, that he thought that was how it was supposed to be...his home kitchen always smelled burned.  :)  So I scopped off the good soup and served it with a smile (and aired out the house).
8)  Can you give our readers one tip that you have learned about cooking?
     Jesus ate with people often and in the classic story of Mary and Martha, He clearly told the girls to not fret over the meal details but rather enjoy His presence and others in the home.  So I cook and bake, but TRY TO not get stressed over the mishaps and disasters.  Cooking is about loving people, not impressing them with my ability.


Thank you Nancy for the interview!  And, check out Nancy's recipe for Meatloaf (yum!)

If you would like your story to be highlighted on Mama's Recipe Swap and would be interested in being interviewed, please email me your information and a short quip about your cooking story (via the email book on the right).  I'd love to hear from you!

Stay tuned, because next Friday we have our next interview with Tree from the blog Mother of Pearl It Is, and her families' cooking stories.  :)

Reuben Sandwich Ring

Easy entertaining!

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall
Taken from:  Pampered Chef

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                               Cook time:  20 min or until brown

Ingredients:
     -  2 pkgs of crescent rolls
     -  1/2 lb chipped corn beef (from deli)
     -  8 oz can of sauerkraut (drained and patted dry)
     -  1/2 c. Thousand Island dressing
     -  Swiss cheese slices

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven.  On round stone seperate crescent rolls into triangle pieces, place square edge of triangles on inside edge of stone (pointy sides are off of stone).  Line stone and make a circle (wreath-like)
2.) Combine beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island in a bowl.  Use a cookie scoop and scoop mixture onto each triangle.
3)  Lay 1/2 swiss slice over filling in each triangle.  Take point of crescent and fold over filling and tuck under square side (facing center of circle).
4)  Bake at 350 degrees until brown.

Chicken Buffalo Dip

Easy - yummy and has a kick! 

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                        Cooking time:  20-30 min

Ingredients:
     -  2 cans of chicken, drained
     -  2 (8 oz) cream cheese
     -  2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
     -  1/2 - whole bottle of tabasco (depending on taste)

Directions:
1)  Can put all ingredients in SLOW COOKER on LOW for a few hours until melted or Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat for 20-30 minutes.
2)  Serve with tortilla chips.

Italian Hillside Garden Soup

A twist on the traditional vegetable soup!  My favorite soup!

Taken from:  "Crock Pot: Recipe Collection"

Ingredients:
     -  1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
     -  1 c. chopped green bell pepper
     -  1 c. chopped onion
     -  1/2 c. sliced celery
     -  1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
     -  1 can (15 1/2 oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
     -  1 medium zucchini, chopped
     -  1 c. frozen cut green beans, thawed
     -  2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
     -  1/4 tsp. garlic powder
     -  1 pkg (9 oz) refrigerated sausage or cheese filled tortellini pasta
     -  3 Tbl. chopped fresh basil
     -  Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1)  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add bell pepper, onion and celery.  Cook and stir 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Transfer to 5 quart CROCK POT slow cooker.
2)  Add tomatoes with juice, navy beans, zucchini, green beans, broth and garlic powder.  Cover; cook on LOW 7 hours or on HIGH 3 1/2 hours
3)  Turn CROCK POT slow cooker to HIGH.  Add tortellini and cook 20-25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.  Stir in basil.  Garnish each serving with cheese.

Country Cobbler

Ooey- gooey goodness!  Best comfort food dessert - make ala mode or let it fly solo....either way SO simple!

Submitted by:  Tia Bach and Dana Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                              Cook time:  45 min

Ingredients:
     -  1 stick butter
     -  3/4 c. flour
     -  1 c. sugar
     -  2 tsp. baking powder
     -  1/8 tsp. salt
     -  3/4 c. milk
     -  1 large can pie filling

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven.  Melt butter in a glass 13"x9" baking dish. 
2)  Mix rest of ingredients into butter to make batter.  After mixed thoroughly, put 9-12 large spoonfuls of pie fillings on top of batter - do not mix.
3)  Place in oven and bake for ~45 min.

Note:  Double all ingredients (except pie filling) for extra rich cobbler with a thicker cake topping - my favorite way to make it!

Meat Loaf

Friday, March 19, 2010

The perfect comfort food and Sunday dinner!

Submitted by:  Nancy Clark

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                              Cook time:  1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:
Meatloaf:
     -  1 lb. hamburger
     -  1 egg
     -  3/4 c. cracker crumbs
     -  1/2 c. milk
     -  1 tsp. salt
     -  1 tsp. chopped onion
     -  pepper
     -  1 tsp. dry mustard

Sauce:
     -  1/2 c. ketchup
     -  2 tsp. prepared mustard
     -  3 tsp. brown sugar
     -  1 c. water
     -  1/4 c. vinegar

Directions:
1)  Mix together all ingredients and form in loaf; place in loaf pan, leaving space for sauce around it (think a moate of sauce around the meatloaf)
2)  Combine ingredients of sauce and pour in moate around meatloaf and on top.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours.

Welcome!

Monday, March 15, 2010

As a new Mom I have found the kitchen to be a wonderful and rewarding place, as well as a stressful and often dreaded place.  I love that victorous feeling of making a meal that just makes the whole house smell good, or one which is worthy of not just seconds, but thirds.  I love feeling like I accomplished something - esp. if that something is laced in chocolate, butter or fried goodness (let's be honest, those rank high).  However, as a budding cook that did not inherit the natural cooking gene of my mother, my time in the kitchen has had its trials and tribulations.  Prior to being an at-home mother over a year ago, I worked as a teacher and would get home about 5:30 pm and had lesson plans/papers to grade until bed time.  Dinners meant boxed meals or GASP fast food (I know, I am dissappionted too).  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed cooking but who wants to start a meal at 6 pm.  So, I reserved "real" cooking for the weekends.

So when I decided to be a stay-at-home Mom to my daughter, Samantha, I also decided that I was going to hone my cooking skills and use boxed dinners for emergencies only (well my emergencies can be a sick child or a bad headache - boxes still have their place in this household).  However, I want to be more health conscious and it was a nice way to save money for our family, now that we were minus one paycheck - Taco Bell adds up!  I also wanted to begin those family meals with my daughter that are such a part of my childhood memories. 

So I got to cooking....and cooking...and cooking...

I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying it, but I am still a work in progress.  I do not profess to be a chef or an expert.  I am just a southern girl that loves grits, biscuits, gravy and anything fried - though I try to tame the latter.  I love cooking comfort food (which doesn't always equate BAD FOR YOU - I promise)!  I just think that good food makes you feel good and a good meal pulls a family together. 

Every Sunday I sit down to plan the week of meals, make my grocery list and cut coupons.  Though after 14 months of being a Mama I find that I needed fresh recipes and new ideas.  So I thought, what better resource than other MAMAS!  So, this thought is what brought me here - to "Mama's Recipe Swap."

I want to provide a site where not chefs or experts exchange meals, but Mamas share the comfort food, the quick and easy and the budget friendly recipes that their family loves.  Where people can share the great stuff that they made and get some great ideas as well.  I'll share some of mine (those that are tride and true in my household) and some that have been passed down among my family - to you.  In turn, send me yours.  I will give you credit and would love to post a picture of your creation. 

As Mamas - whether you are a working Mom, a stay at home Mom or a single Mom - we all need to come together and celebrate all that we do - in the kitchen and out of it.  We need to share ideas and recipes so that we don't get sick of the kitchen, yet can get excited about it.  Providing a meal for your family is important and an act of faith and love.  So many of my memories throughout my life are tied to food and mealtime and if you think back, I bet yours are too.  So share those recipes and memories if you choose via the email box on the right hand side of this blog.

If you want to know a little bit more about me, check out my family blog at http://www.dknewbrough.blogspot.com/.  God Bless!

Shrimp Scampi

My husband's favorite and he's super picky!

Submitted by:  Tia Bach

Ingredients:
     -  1 lb. medium shrimp
     -  4 cloves garlic
     -  1/2 c. butter
     -  2 Tbl lemon juice
     -  1/2 tsp. tarragon
     -  1/2 tsp. A1 steak sauce
     -  1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
     -  1/4 tsp. hot sauce
     -  Fravorite type of noodle (cook according to package directions)

Directions:
1)  Peel and devein shrimp.  Cook garlic in butter in skillet for ~4 min.
2)  Add lemon juice and next 4 ingredients.  Bring to a boil and add shrimp.  Cook ~5 min. or until shrimp is pink.
3)  Throw in cooked noodles or rice to coat.

Mexican Corn Bread

Now this is good eating, especially with BBQ and slaw.  Throw in a hot platter of home fries, and oh man, you've got heaven.  :)

Submitted by:  Angela Silverthorne

Ingredients:
      -  3 eggs, beaten
      -  1 c. onion, chopped
      -  3 jalapeno peppers, chopped
      -  1/2 c. oil
      -  1 c. cheddar or sharp cheese, grated
      -  1/2 c. milk
      -  1 1/2 c. self-rising corn meal
      -  1/2 tsp. salt
      -  dash garlic salt
      -  1 (17 oz) can cream style corn

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients and put into 8"x10" baking pan. 
2)  Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Cinnamony Carrot Cake

All I can say is YUM, YUM, YUM!!

Created by:  Amber Morgan

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                       Cook time:  35-40 min

Ingredients:
Cake:
     -  1 (18.5 oz) package yellow cake mix
     -  1 1/4 c. water
     -  1/2 c. (1 stick) butter melted, cooled
     -  3 eggs
     -  2 cups shredded carrots
     -  2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Frosting:
     -  4 c. powdered sugar
     -  1/2 c. (1 stick) butter softened
     -  1/3 c. sour cream
     -  3/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all cake ingredients except carrots and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Beat as directed on cake package.  Stir in carrots and cinnamon.
2)  Pour batter into greased 13"x9: baking pan.  Bake for 35-40 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.
3)  Combine all frosting ingredients in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed scraping bowl often, until creamy.  Spread cooled cake with frosting.

The Best Coconut Cake

If you love Coconut Cake, but you don't have the time to make the "traditional" version - try this for a spin.  SO easy and so delicious!

Submitted by:  Janie Silverthorne

Ingredients:
     -  1 box white cake mix
     -  2 pkgs frozen coconut, thawed
     -  2 (8 oz) cartons sour cream
     -  2 c. sugar
     -  1 (9 oz) container frozen whipped topping

Directions:
1)  Mix cake according to package directions.  Bake 2 layers.  Cool and then splite layers to make 4.
2)  Mix together coconut, sour cream and sugar.  Set aside 1 cup of mixture.  Spread the rest over the layers. 
3)  Mix reserved cup of coconut mixture with whipped topping and spread on cake top and sides
4)  Refrigerate at least 3 days before cutting and keep refrigerated after.  Can last 2 weeks.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

A recipe passed down the family line - a classic!

Created by:  Carol Newbrough

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                     Cook time:  1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:
     -  3 c. sugar
     -  2 sticks butter or margarine
     -  6 eggs
     -  3 c. flour
     -  1/2 tsp. vanilla
     -  1/2 tsp. almond extract
     -  1/4 tsp. baking soda
     -  1 c. sour cream

Directions:
1)  Preheat oven.  Grease and flour bundt or angel food cake pan.
2)  Mix together sugar and butter until creamy and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Then gradually add flour, beating well after each addition.  Then add vanilla, almond extract and baking soda.  Last, but not least, add the sour cream.
3)  Pour into a baking pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Cool slightly before taking out of pan - if you use a bundt pan, invert the cake to cool

Paul Newman Cake

This cake is absolutely heavenly!  Save it for company though, or you will end up eating the WHOLE thing!  ENJOY!!

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

Ingredients:
     -  1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
     -  1 can Eagle Condensed milk (sweet milk)
     -  1 jar caramel topping
     -  1 large container Cool Whip
     -  2-3 Heath bars, crushed

Directions:
1)  Bake cake as instructed on box.  While warm, poke holes on top of cake.
2)  Pour sweet milk over cake.  Pour most of jar of caramel topping over cake.  Refrigerate until cool.
3)  Top with cool whip and crumble candy bars on top.  Drizzle reserved caramel over cake.
4)  Refrigerate until served.

Special K Bars

These are SO easy to make and a favorite for kids and adults.

Submitted by:  Vicki Marshall

Ingredients:
     -  1 c. sugar
     -  1 c. white karo syrup
     -  1 c. peanut butter
     -  6-8 c. cereal (Special K or Cornflakes)
     -  1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
1)  Combine sugar and syrup.  Bring to a full boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute.
2)  Remove from heat and add peanut butter and a little vanilla
3)  Pour over cereal and mix well.  Press into a well buttered 9"x13" pan.  Drop by spoon onto wax paper or buttered cookie sheet

Pineapple Sirloin Skewers

Taken from:  Quick Cooking magazine, Karen Hamlin

Marinate time:  overnight                           Prep + Cook:  20 min.

Ingredients:
     -  1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks
     -  6 Tbl. soy sauce
     -  2 Tbl. brown sugar
     -  2 Tbl. vegetable oil
     -  2 tsp. ground ginger
     -  1 tsp. minced garlic
     -  1/2 tsp. pepper
     -  1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 in. cubes

Directions:
1)  Drain pineapple, reserving juice.  Refrigerate pineapple.
2)  In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Reserve 1/3 cup marinade for basting and 1/3 cup for serving; cover and refrigerate.
3)  Pour the remaining marinage into a large resealable plastic bag; and beef cubes.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
4)  Drain and discard marinade from beef.  On metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread beef and pineapple chunks.  Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 min on each side or boil 4-6 in from the heat until beef reches desired doneness, basting frequently with one portion of the reserved marinade.  Serve with remaining marinade.

Note:
"I like to add mushroom to the skewers and serve the yummy kabobs over hot cooked rice"

Millie's Cheese Cake Bars

This scrumptous dessert was a favorite from my childhood and brings back great memories of Knoxville, TN, boating on the lake, and Miss Millie.  After she died, I carried on her legacy with these bars and kept those great memories alive. 

Created by: Miss Millie :)
Submitted by:  Angela Silverthorne

Preheat oven to:  350 degrees                        Cook time:  30 min.

Ingredients:
     -  1 Box yellow cake mix
     -  3 eggs
     -  1 stick butter, melted
     -  8 oz cream cheese, softened
     -  1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)

Directions:
1)  Stir together the cake mix, 1 egg and the butter until well mixed.  Pat onto bottom of well greased pan.
2)  Mix softened cream cheese, 2 eggs and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until it is smooth.  Pour on top of the other mixture in the pan. 
3)  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top for decoration.  Cool and enoy!

Blog Highlighted

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I feel honored to have asked to be interviewed by a fellow blogger, after she visited my site.  Check out the interview and her blog via this link.

Thanks, Tree!  I love your blog and will keep following it as well.

http://www.motherofpearlitis.com/2010/03/supahstah-saturday-31310.html

Pineapple Jerk Chicken and Rice

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spicy and fragrant!  Great for a dinner party or a dinner with your hubby!  So easy!

Submitted by:  Dana Newbrough
Taken from:  Everyday with Rachel Ray (http://www.rachaelraymag.com/)

Cook time:  30 min.               Prep time:  15 min                  Serves: 4

Ingredients:
     -  2 cups brown or white uncooked, long grained rice
     -  4 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
     -  1 onion, chopped
     -  1 jalapeno chile - stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
     -  1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
     -  Salt and pepper to taste
     -  1 large can of cut pineapple, drained

    -  1/2 c. jerk marinade, such as Lawry's
     -  1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed
     -  1/2 c. chopped, fresh cilantro

Directions:
1)  In a large pot of boiling, salted water (~4 cups - refer to specific package directions), cook the rice; stirring occassionally until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain.
2)  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbl. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until the onion is browned (~ 7 min); transfer to a bowl.
3)  Add the remaining 2 Tbl. olive oil to the same skillet and increase the heat to medium-high.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and cook until browned, 5-7 min. 
4)  Add the pineapple and jerk marinade and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 2-3 min.  Stir in the onion mixture, black beans and cilantro; cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 min.  Season with salt and pepper and serve over rice.

Note:
-  Use cilantro leaves and stems for texture and flavor
-  Leave in the jalapeno seeds for extra heat
-  Roll up hot leftovers in a wrap with some sour cream.
-  Great to pair with a crisp, pear-scented pinot gris.
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